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How to Pick Fresh Produce

Promote Locally Grown Produce with this poster from Learning ZoneXpressSummer is now upon us, which means it is time to enjoy some of the freshest produce of the year. Local farmers market and grocery stores are filled with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, all waiting to be taken home. Nothing is worse than bringing home produce only to find out it has spoiled. When it comes to picking the freshest produce, many people know to avoid bruised or blemished produce. Although those are two big factors in increasing your chance of having delicious fruit and veggies, it is not all that needs to be taken into consideration. Here are a few tips of what to look for when picking out fresh produce:

1. Brightest of the Bunch
After checking produce for those pesky bruises and blemishes, it is  important to look for fruits and vegetables that have the brightest colors. The rule here is to look for the produce that seems the most appealing and inviting to you. The freshest produce is going to be vibrant. When you see a fruit or vegetable that has a dull color, it means that it has not ripened yet, or that it's been deprived of sun or nutrients.

2. Hold on to the Heavy Ones
When determining what fruit option will be the best, it is important to choose the heaviest ones of the bunch. This is important, because when a fruit feels lightweight, it is most likely going to be dry. The heavier an item feels, the more likely it will be juicy and crisp. Choosing the heaviest fruits is easy. Simply pick up two similar sized fruits and determine which of them feels the heaviest.

3. Pick Firm Fruits & Veggies
This rule is simple. Make sure that produce is not too soft and not too hard. Instead look for something Goldilocks would refer to as “just right.”

4. Strong, Sweet Scent
This is by far the easiest way to tell if produce is fresh. Unripe fruits are going to have no smell. (The only thing you may smell is the cardboard they were packed in). Fruits that are overripe will develop a foul smell. The freshest produce is almost always going to have a smell that is close to what that particular item is supposed to taste like. The strongest smelling fruit will be the most ripe and ready to eat immediately. If you want your produce to last longer, make sure to pick out options that still smell good, but have less of a scent.

Do you have any tips on how to pick fresh produce?

For a list of what to look for in specific fruits and vegetables, and for more tips on picking out the freshest produce; visit

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